Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)
the BUNRAB blog spot
Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.
If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.
... on the menu now
that the pricing dispute has been settled. Two mounds
of grated celery root and apple supported the crab. The menu said that
it contained, “a hint of Rau Ram.” I asked the server what
Rau Ram was:
... was capped with
a circle of dull colored salmon. It might have been more
appealing to present the salmon in the middle of the tower. Tomato, red
onion and avocado filled out the cylinder with a small moat of eggplant
coulis. The red onion was strong enough to set the dish off balance.
cold and rainy in the Tenderloin, there’s really only one
thing to eat. Pho.
... which is a beef
broth with rice noodles, thin slices of round steak, flank, tendon,
tripe and a half a meatball (yes, only a half of a meatball, I’m
guessing that you get a whole meatball if you order the large bowl.)
*As a grand opening special, everything’s 20% off, so my lunch only set me back $4.30 today.
is an Indonesian restaurant down the street from the place where
I got the chicken gizzards and stink beans last month.
This was skipable
mostly due to the overcooked rubbery egg white and dry grainy yolk. Luckily,
the rest of lunch was an improvement. The combo comes with a salad of
bean sprouts, cabbage and green beans dressed in a mildly hot peanut sauce
and topped off with shrimp chips. The kari sayuran consisted of Barbie-sized
corn on the cobs, carrots, beans, red pepper and zuke slices in a curried
coconut milk sauce. It was okay, I've just never been really into Barbie
These were pretty
tasty. They had a chewiness that was offset by the crisp,
frilly outside bits. These went well with the temple shaped rice sandcastle
that I promptly destroyed and topped with these bits of stomach and veg.
Both were encased
in crusty ciabatta and made with good ingredients, but
they suffered from being removed prematurely from the grill. I considered
asking for it to be fixed, but realized that it would have either resulted
in putting it back on the grill after we had bitten into our food (unsanitary)
or throwing it away (wasteful.) I also took into consideration that it
is only their second day of business and they were just getting used to
the set up.
a small cup ($3.75) half of lime sorbet and half champagne sorbet.
The lime was tangy against the more subtle champagne (which they caution
you is slightly alcoholic but in reality, it would take approximately
a cooler full to get a buzz on.) Chubby had half chocolate gelato and
half coffee gelato. The chocolate is always a fave and goes well with
the rich coffee which is freckled with bits of grounds.
Pan fried, flour
dredged, sole nestled in shredded lettuce atop toasted baguette. The tartar
sauce gave the necessary tang to this simple filet-o-fish sandwich done
right. The coleslaw had that too liquidy syndrome which meant he had to
use his fork as a colander as he ate it. Chubby didn’t seem to mind
bother with that cheapo imitation stuff, you get a pitcher of
real maple syrup.
...and unlike their
branch at the Ferry Building they serve panini (as well as gelati, sorbets,
smoothies and shakes.) There are a few items for the “bambini”
including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They also plan to add salads
to the menu at a later date.
Chubby and I decided to try to make it to Boca for lunch by the time it stopped serving at 2:30. Fap, fap, fap…
back tire put an end to that plan. On with those wingy
micro-spares and off to the tire shop.
young squid were lightly battered and fried to a greaseless deliciousness.
The lemony, cilantro, mustard laced, aioli was good, but these were fine
with just a squirt of lemon.
... which they make
with ground sirloin. The meat had a nice grind and flavor. I
wish that the grilled onions didn’t have a fridge chill to them.
The thicky sliced roma tomatoes and leaves of butter lettuce rounded out
the sandwich. Duck fries (potatoes fried in duck fat) were good, but next
time I’ll order them extra crispy.
...4 dollar calamari
and 5 buck burger and fries. Who knew? Next time I’ll
have to check out the lobster corn dog…
... the Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman picture which delivered wonderful, nuanced, performances and a bit of humor. A good way to remedy our earlier deflation.
I made a very simple, but satisfying Thanksgiving supper.
The bonus is the yummy duck liver, heart and gizzard that come it a little duck sack.
This was the perfect cook’s treat as the rest of din was percolating.
duck with sauerkraut, apple and caraway seed stuffing
forgot to put the toasted almonds on the salad, but it didn’t
seem to need them. The basil seed jello was kind of a joke, but it was
...from the November
Fine Cooking Magazine but didn’t make the crust border
a half inch thick as they indicated and had to wait to put the streusel
topping on until after it had baked 20 minutes. The recipe said to put
it on before baking, but the batter was too thin to keep it from sinking.
The resulting tart was very good, not too sweet and a little boozy.
Mmmmmm Pork leg ($6.95):
... was just too good.
They say that it’s best to eat the right leg on
a pig because it moves around more (scratching) than the other (unless
you get a lefty.) Well, I don’t know which side this one was from
but it was pork-a-licious. The sauce with garlic and peppers pushed it
over the top.
Just catching up on what you've been up to. Couleur just down the street from us and my fave rest manager in town (exPlouf) is going to be heading it up. I can't wait either, hope t see you there. last I heard Dec 2nd should be their opening date."
Wow, that's really soon! Maybe you'll see me camping out front so I'll be first in line.
... from the
refrigerator case. It was everything you would expect from a
mass produced airport sandwich. Chunks of chemically enhanced white meat
chicken in a foccacia style roll with tired, wilted, purple onion slices
serving as decoration (rather than flavoring.) Mature sheets of romaine
possessed all the qualities of recycled printer paper (except for the
being green part) slices of tasteless tomato completed the effect.
Today’s bunrab email box had a letter to Chubby about Picco Pizzeria:
... was like a
coleslaw with mini cabbages. There were little chunks of pecorino
which make their way to the bottom unless you don’t give it a toss
or two as you eat this refreshing, lemon juice and evoo dressed veggie
It's not called a burger here it's called, "fresh ground beef steak" cause they grind their rib eye and chuck steaks on site daily and cook them medium rare (unless you tell them to do otherwise.) You specify your desired patty size as 4, 6 or 8 oz. The default size on the menu is the small option.
The #1 ($7.95 plus .60¢ for cheese) is their burger with Bermuda onions, lettuce, an anemic disc of tomato and pickle slices. I ordered blue cheese on mine. I really liked the coarse grind of meat that was cooked to a nice medium rare. The bun held up to the meat but had a homogenous texture that wasn't as special as what it was holding (and the buns match the larger sized burgers, not the quarter pound ones which have a margin of bread only at the edges.) The blue cheese was a good salty, rich addition to this burger.
I requested the 6 oz patty on my #3 ($8.75 plus $2.25 for 6 oz patty, plus .60¢ for cheese):
... which filled out the bun nicely. The butter sautéed Bermuda onions and sharp cheddar made for a tasty burger experience.
The fries ($1.75) were fine, nothing special. I requested them extra crispy, but they didn't have an "extra" feel in that department. A better choice was the onion rings ($3.00):
... which were big slices with a breadcrumb coating, fried to a crispy doneness without being greasy. The onion remained wedded to the coating on these (I hate it when the onion comes out with the first bite and all you are left with is the vacant onion casing.)
The comfy booths are surrounded by custom neon signs touting the features of the establishment and are supplemented by beer advertising illumination.
It's a funky place that has a local following and is kid friendly (as long as you aren't put off by the monkey doll that delivers a wolf whistle whenever a new patron enters.)
The owner, Joe keeps a watchful eye to make sure everything is up to standards. Check out Chubby's ranking of all the burgers on the Burger Holy Grail.
Speaking of the Chubster, he said that as good as this place is, he wanted his steak unground today, so he headed over to sleepy Novato in Marin County and got all us bunrabs a table at a fantastic steakhouse. Check out his new review of Boca.
Chubby and I went to a little place in Yountville today.
Right now we're kind of full...
French Laundry List:
Salmon tartare cornets with crème fraiche
Artichoke soup with raviolini of niciose olives
Celery root soup with celery
Pickled oyster with cucumber capellini and sevruga caviar
Sabayon of pearl tapioca with oyster and osetra caviar
"Thomas' English muffin" (get it? Thomas'?) with poached hen egg and black truffle coin
Egg custard with black truffle ragu and potato chive chip
Risotto made with Carnaroli rice and topped with shaved white truffle
Polenta with veal jus topped with shaved white truffle
Chard stuffed sole turban with pumpkin moon
Kahala almondine with endives and black pepper gastrique
Lobster tail with vanilla bean and saffron with arrowleaf spinach
Lobster tail with carrots and peashoots
Seared foie gras (x2) with duck confit stuffing and cranberries
Beef Coulette with spaezel, poached prune, leeks and dijonaise sauce
Hot Epoisse with cardoons topped with room temperature Epoisse.
Petite Basque with mushrooms and whole grain mustard emulsion
Plum sorbet with mini crepes stuffed with raisin coulis aside a mini panna cotta
Satsuma Mandarin orange sorbet with lime foam
Coffee semi-freddo with fresh donuts (x2)
Pithivier with chocolate semi-freddo, Mandarin orange sections and dark chocolate tuille
Valrhona chocolate dome with a wildflower honey base, chocolate tuille and cocoa nibs
Crème brulee with Tahitian vanilla
Dr B. from Meathenge writes:
Dear Dr. B.,
I don't think I'll ever eat again after dinner tonight, but if I change my mind, I will definitely check out the Fatted Calf toppings at Gioia.
I used the chocolate cake recipe from Chez Panisse Desserts but with all bittersweet chocolate (no semisweet.) However, the most important step is to put Chubby's likeness on top.
Happy Birthday RCZ!
I love grabbing a slice of pizza when I'm running around town. On Shattuck, there's the Cheeseboard and near the bay, there's Lanesplitter.
You get your choice of Neapolitan (thin crust) or Sicillian (thick) pizza. I chose Neapolitan for a slice of Carnivore and Herbivore (each $2.75):
Carnivore has pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and onion over a thin layer of tomato sauce. What makes this good is the balance of ingredients. There isn't a pool of tomato sauce covered with a blanket of bubbling cheese with a pools of meat fat oozing from wads of chubs. The ratio of ingredients to dough provides a crisp crust and concert of flavors that makes for a tasty slice.
The Herbivore has chopped, raw spinach, mushrooms, onions and those out-of-the-tin pitted, black olives. Not fancy, just good.
I love the vibe at this casual, funky pub. Friendly service with plastic plates and cloth napkins (very environmentally correct.) It's a beer joint with good eats. What's not to like?
You can customize your own pizza with the normal array of toppings at this little chain pizza place. There are also branches in Oakland and Albany.
Pub and Pizza
When I was paying for my lunch at Tabla today, I told the owner, "I always feel good after I eat your food." The lady after me in line interjected, "it's like medicine!"
The quinoa salad ($4.75):
... had chunks of fennel, onion, tomatoes and a chiffonade of basil. This was satisfying in every way. Simple, delicious and made with pristine ingredients. Quinoa is a psydo-grain it's really a seed that is super high in protein. It looks a little like millet or couscous, but it has a more delicate texture.
The lamb meatball dosai ($10.00):
... was a hit as well. The herbed balls of ground lamb, Italian parsley, chopped cabbage and picked onion went beautifully with the house made pear chutney.
I just wish this place were open on Sundays.
B. writes about my student cuisine post from earlier this week:
Oh, I LOVE letting students perform medical procedures on me. I spent a lot of time at UCSF, quite a bit of time actually. I got some extremely cute nurses learning to insert needles in the back of my hand for a permanent IV drip. Sure it took them 6 to 8 tries, but it was worth every mis-poke. Sometimes they'd have to get their superior nurse to complete the job, oh yeah. Bring in the reinforcements, I say. I'd do it again and again, no problem.
Dear Dr. B,
I hope that it was a demi-glace IV drip to get you through the needling. Ouch. BTW, your Tomatillo Chile with Pork looks insanely good.
Couleur Café is going to be run by Chez Maman and Chez Papa folks. They will serve up simple food: couscous, chicken curry..in a casual enviroment.
There will be 48 seats inside and outdoor seating when they open in about a month (next door to Sally's Restaurant) on De Haro near 17th. I can't wait.
Up the street at Bistro 350, the maitre d's welcome at 12:30 today was, "I know it doesn't look like it, but we are fully booked for lunch" he suggested reservations next time. This place caught on quick.
Dos Pinas is just down the street. It's like a non-chain, order-at-the-counter version of Chevy's. The soft tacos (3 for $4.00):
... were good with a squeeze of lime and some of the hot self serve salsa from the fridge. The house made chorizo with a little dry, but still good, the carnitas and steak both benefited from a splash of salsa.
Santa Fe Salad ($7.50):
A large bowlful of chopped romaine, sliced radishes, grilled beef chunks, black beans, corn, jack cheese, over crisp tortilla chips was nothing that you wouldn't expect from the description. Perfectly okay though.
The Tuesday Berkeley Farmers' Market had some luscious pomegranates:
... and ultra ripe persimmons. I only wish Fatted Calf still had a Tuesday slot at the market (I really wanted a fegatelli.) I ran into some friends for a nice chat as we all took our cloth market bags (this is Berkeley) to fill with organic produce.
The great thing about checking out Bistro 350 is that you can look at it as supporting next generation of chefs while saving a few bucks and there's a chance that you may actually get something tasty.
I'm not keen on letting students cut my hair, perform medical procedures on me or impact my life in a way that doesn't allow for a do-over, but a visit to the California Culinary Academy's café was worth a try.
This amuse was truly amuse-ing:
The little house made potato chips with a blob of sturgeon mousse and little floppy ears sticking out seemed like they were trying a little to hard to do something, but I'm not sure what…
The oxtail salad ($5.00):
...was had a lattice of granny smith apple matchsticks over braised oxtail and a lightly dressed salad. The contrast of temperatures between the cold frisee and warm oxtails didn't work well and the apple didn't provide enough of a crispy contrast to the tender meat. I liked the oxtail with the pomegranate though.
Rack of lamb ($16.00):
...arrived with a merguez crust that was overly salty. The meat itself was not pink inside like I like it, but still tender and tasty.
I think that it would be helpful for the students to get feedback from the end user. If they are too busy to ask, they should give a survey or website to gauge the satisfaction level of the diners.
I like the
idea of this big, white tablecloth training ground and plan to
do a 360 to 350 again for another try soon.
The hostess was not exactly welcoming, but the server was very nice.
Part of the reason I got this bowl of soup is that I love saying “Albondigas” ($9.50):
Little pork and beef meatballs bobbed around chunks of carrot, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, chilies, ripe avocado, tortilla strips and crème fraiche (huh? crème fraiche? Oh, yeah, it's Marin…) It needed some cilantro and lime juice, but a shake of hot sauce pepped it up. Warming with good quality ingredients, but not impressive overall.
Their Huevos Rancheros ($9.50):
... were perfectly serviceable. I requested my eggs over "very" easy and they arrived perfectly cooked. I'm glad that there was some Tabasco on the table because their salsa was too mild. The roasted chilies, onions, jack cheese and black beans were all fine, just nothing special.
I guess it really isn't a good idea to come here and order up a bunch of Mexican food, but I came wanting something breakfasty and got distracted.
Hangar Tube Steaks:
It was fantastic. Taylor & Toponia know how to please a crowd.
Hangar One had it's holiday open house today and hundreds of their biggest fans:
... came to sample their famous vodkas and aqua perfectas.
They also unveiled their De Profundis, a 20 year old pear brandy and Heirloom, (no, not distilled tomatoes) their apple brandy.
Shellmound Oyster Bar shucked up a storm:
...and had a mignonette infused with some Hangar One's Fraser River Raspberry Vodka.
...always does an amazing job of juggling the thirsty, rowdy, masses while making them feel right at home. The tasting room is required visiting for those ready to get into the holiday spirits.
Choxie is Target's interpretation of artisan chocolate.
The Dark Chocolate Flakey truffles ($5.00) looked innocent enough. They depended on vegetable oil for their smooth feel and lacked depth and intensity that a dark chocolate fan would anticipate. The box claims that these are, “a must for any self-respecting chocophile” uh, I guess that means I am a self loathing chocopath.
Seven truffle temptations ($5.00) should be renamed the seven truffle sins. These Choxies are staying trendy with chai tea, crème brulee, champagne, pumpkin, irish cream, candy cane and French roast varieties. The flavorings they use are overpowering and the chocolate has a waxy mouthfeel.
The Choxies that made me want to shampoo my tongue were the artisan truffle tiles ($5.00):
They are cloying in their sweet, sans-arty way. Cinnamon prailine, café latte, jasmine tea, lemon rose, pepper/mint, key lime, apple pie and chilli limon were the names that Target gave them. I can only think of one name for these.
You could argue that chocolates from Target are an easy “target” and that for five bucks you really shouldn't expect Recchuti, but See's is superior because they taste their chocolate to make sure it's good and don't machine-gun you with advertising about their high quality product.
Target makes a big deal out of Choxie's use of Belgian chocolate, as if this somehow elevates them to a premier cru status. They claim that “it's intended for the most sophisticated of chocolate palates. We suggest you keep it hidden from mere amateurs.” You'll get no argument from this amateur.
But there is a good lowbrow chocolate fix in you are at Target. The “limited edition” darkside (dark chocolate) M&Ms (lowbrow, waxy and yet good in a trailer park kind of way.) I love the fact that there is something so ghetto that they call “limited edition.” Creating a false premium definitely works for them. It brings out the inner miser.
I felt obliged to allow this restaurant's name to influence my order (although I noticed that the other customers had not followed suit.) Most of the diners at the surrounding tables had ordered sandwiches with fries and gigantor salads.
There are 101 listed omelet options. I ordered #23 with broccoli, spinach, sautéed onions and Swiss cheese ($6.80.):
Although perfectly acceptable, I wouldn't order this 3 egg veggie flap again. The broccoli and spinach were fine, but the onions were undercooked. I wasn't expecting them to be beautifully caramelized, but I didn't expect them to have any crunch to them. The Swiss cheese put up major resistance and needed to be spaghettied around my fork. Standard issue wheat toast came alongside.
The server was very efficient and nice but I didn't see anything on any nearby plate that inspired a need for a return visit.
Egg Omelet House
Craig C. writes:
Your best burger roundup is great, but I would like to throw my suggestion into the hat. Joe's Cable Car Restaurant, way, way out on Mission. Think neon explosion+grandmas house (ok, my grandma is a little weird, but still). I order a 6oz Joes burger, medium rare, blue cheese, fries. My treat, just tell me when.
Craig http://www.joescablecar.com/ "
I've actually had Joe's on my to do list, but based on your recco, I should definitely move it up in priority (if not for the burger, for the décor)
So sorry about the late-ish comment concerning SPAM, (a post made by you around Halloween time) I must mention how the images of SPAM and Halloween candy compliment each other nicely. But my actual comment has to do with the fact that I have converted many (dozens) of friends and family to the gourmet-esque quality of BBQ SPAM. A glorious method of preparation introduce to me by YOU a few years ago. I even impressed my almost-a-vegetarian sister with it's bacon-like qualities (mmmmm bacon....) Our local no-frills grocery store carries cases of SPAM in a variety of flavors, "Original", "Bacon bits"(mmmmm bacon....) "low salt", and my particular favorite: "Tabasco hot 'n' spicy" compelling us to stock up on the meat product for armageddon type emergencies. Again, the BBQ technique is far superior to any other SPAM cooking method worthy of an Iron Chef. Funny how nobody knows about it.
P.S. SPAM: S-pecially P-repared A-ssorted M-eats. Kinda like Slim Jims"
I am of the school that you must start with the highest quality ingredients in order to produce tasty chow. This is the only exception. Somehow, Spam alchemy is achieved when introduced to a BBQ. It is the black hole of the culinary world.
... (although faux wall mounted, wine barrel dispensers aren’t enough to get me to come back.)
These talal de puerco and de pollos are a mere buck fifty each.
the warming vessel at the counter of this tidy little market,
I gobbled these tender, warm masa encased, savory snacks down gleefully.
Both the chicken and the pork were filled with flavorful chunks of meat.
The pork ones were my favorites because they have a nice, subtle heat
from the salsa verde.
It’s heavier to lift than it looks and sweeter by a factor of a zillion. Just by looking at this photo you should probably brush your teeth immediately. This thing was sweeter than Dolly Parton on amphetamines in a Strawberry Shortcake costume singing the Good Ship Lollipop. I have never tasted any form of confection with such concentrated sugar. It’s like they were making a pop up sugar sponge and I forgot to put it in water. I mean, I have a major sweet tooth, and even I couldn’t eat my way out of this melony, rock candy prison. This is like aversion therapy for those who crave sweet.
could you fly to L.A. and go to Belisle's for me? I haven't been since
Six Million dollars was enough to put cyborg parts in a human. I ordered
the hot turkey sandwich and remember it having at least 1/2 gallon of
gravy with an entire loaf of french bread on a platter the size of a volkswagon.
Not sure if it was done to the tune of the French Laundry, but it sure
was FUN. Here's a blurb off the Net: "This isn't a restaurant so
much as a carnival sideshow. The size of the food here defies description:
a Texas-style breakfast, featuring a 26-ounce steak, a dozen eggs, pancakes
and hash browns; a barbecue platter with a ham steak the size of a Frisbee,
three large beef ribs and a half-chicken; burgers with a pound of meat;
foot-tall sandwiches; and cakes the size of ottomans. That's just a sample
of the unbelievable volume of food thrust in your direction. Yes, the
cooking lacks finesse, but Belisle's serves the biggest food in OC. For
some, that's enough. (TV) 12001 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 750-6560.
$$" I wanna go so bad, but it's too far and I'm tired. Surely being
as young and spritely as ya'll, you could go. Couldn't you? Please? Oh,
and bring me back an XL t-shirt too.
What I can't stand about Max's is the off-kilter sense of scale you get when you see their food. That old rule about never eating anything bigger than your head gets all mixed up when all the reference material for the scale of the size of your head suddenly gets thrown out of wack.
It's like you are presented with a 25¢ coin the size of a steering wheel as your point of reference for the I've-eaten-off-the-wrong-side-of-the-Alice-in-Wonderland-mushroom dining experience. Slices of cake the size of an anvil, ice cream sundaes that rival the caloric weekly consumption of a major metropolitan city. Most of what Max's serves doesn't do it for me.
But there is just one thing that does. Is my affection for the Jimmy Dixon sandwich($11.50):
...hypocritical? Yes, in a I-love-chopped-chicken-liver-enough-not-to-care sort of way.
Fresh rye bread bulges with corned beef, pastrami, those chicken livers, chopped hard boiled eggs and grilled onions. It's meaty, oniony, livery, goodness makes me forget about how I really don't like Max's. I resent them for trying to destroy the world with their smug little rules, their win-them-over-with-quantity approach to the business and their hideous “artwork.”
The bottom line is that everyone should have a culinary vice. You really can't wander around being all Woody Hare-lson (wearing, eating and smoking hemp all day.)
From the bunrab mailbox:
Andi B. writes:
"Hi to you,
Could you please get your bunnybutt up to Target & review those damn Choxie chocolates? I have not tried them but I'd love to hear your wonderful opinion on them since everyone will be barraged with their commercials every 10 minutes till New Years. Many thanks for your great reviews!"
Thanks for the suggestion. Chubby and I will certainly take our collective bunnybutts out to Tarzhay to check out the Choxie situation and report back.
Stay on target,
If it has “fine food” in the name how bad could it be? But then again, the name “Sears” evokes images of Toughskins jeans and Kenmore appliances, so maybe the name cancels itself out…
I ordered one of their signature items, the "World Famous 18 Swedish Pancakes":
...these little cardboard discs of breakfast mockery which were offered with syrup that had never seen a tree. Even Vickie Pollard's friend Destiny (with the scabby legs) wouldn't trade a Westlife CD for these.
Now for some mail:
We love your website and used it to find Picco. The other place we went to (not on your website) was Left Bank. I heard it was the original and we liked it a bunch - great bistro food! "
Thanks for the reminder about Left Bank. Gutenberg blogged about his yummy burger there back on Sept 18th and told me that I had to hop over and give it a review. Stay tuned…
It's hard to convert a former Taco Bell, Weiner Schnitzel or IHOP due to their architectural signature that comports IHOPpiness, Schnitzel-essense, or, as in this case, Taco-Bellatude:
I had two mole enchiladas ($8.25):
...one with pollo asado and the other with carne asada. The mole sauce had a good depth of flavor (compared to last week's “eh” mole experience up the street.) Both the chicken and the pork fillings were tasty, but the pork was the better of the two, with it's chunks of slow cooked, mildly fatty meat. The rice and beans were standard issue but came alongside a slaw of carrots and cabbage.
The funny thing about all the taquerias on Grant Avenue, is that they all say the same thing on their signage:
“Real Mexican Food” as if there are fake ones on every corner and they need to warn you of their faux papusas.
that I'll make a run for the order again anytime soon, but it's
a good fallback when mi no quiero taco bell.
Monday thru Thursday's lunch began with a tug a the locked door of Kitchen (where I had that nice burger on October 25th) Today, there was someone inside who told me that they will no longer serve lunch and will be focusing their efforts on dinner. Bummer. They were the best lunch on Grant Street.
I walked to a little diner down the road with low expectations. The Rueben ($8.58):
arrived with a hot, crisp and toasty rye bread exterior with pastrami that had a streak or two of fat marbled in. The sauerkraut and melty cheese combined to make this not a bad choice. I was pleasantly surprised that it was non-toxic. I chose the tortilla soup as my side dish. It overcame it's slightly cornstarch thickened and parmesan from-a-green-tube defects by having nicely ripe chunks of avocado and crispy strips of tortilla chips.
The service was eager but occasionally scattered.
Don't know that I'll rush back, but it wasn't bad.
I thought that I should overcome my assumption that a sushi bar would be substandard simply by virtue of being located in Novato.
... was visually daunting as well. Odds and ends of fish flesh gave the feel that the nicer slices were saved for making nigiri sushi. It felt like I was buying out of the remnant bin at a fish fabric store.
& Appetizer Bar
El Palmar looked particularly inviting for lunch due to it's attached market and bustling, small dining room.
I asked the counter person what her favorite menu item was and she said it was the Chicken Mole ($8.99):
The tortillas contained nice chunks of chicken, but the mole lacked depth and intensity which was pepped up (but not cured) with a shake of hot sauce. I don't think I'll get this again, but I noticed many good looking bowls of Pozole being slurped down by those who looked like they were in the know. I'll get one of those next time.
I pointed at the club sandwich ($7.80):
...that a diner at a neighboring table was polishing off and mine arrived in it's frilly toothpicked glory along with a house salad. There is something seductive about a triple decker sandwich. It's like a parfait, but with bacon. The idea ended up to be greater than the flavors. But to be fair, it's a simple diner populated with locals in search of consistent calories and all outward signs point to that expectation. It's tidy with plastic foliage galore. The people who run it are hardworking and friendly and know their audience. Not my thing, but it works for them.
I was walking past this bakery and noticed a note on the door
Dead bread? Maybe it's a Halloween reference..
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